Say you are a comic book publisher who wants to hook the readers to its content. You know that readers love imagining their favorite comic characters. So you decide on making these fictional characters come to life to engage the readers better.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to make it happen is via Augmented Reality (AR).
AR is an integration of real-time information such as images, videos, and text with real-world objects to make the user experience more interactive. In short, it is the overlap of digital information onto the physical world.
As per an estimate, the AR market will be worth between USD 70 billion and USD 75 billion by 2023.
And here’s how AR works—you need an AR marker that users would scan to see the digital content (such as a 3D view of the superhero in your comics). To scan this AR marker, they will either have to install your mobile app or go to your website.
But the problem is—to download the app, they will have to pull out their smartphone and go to the App Store or Play Store. They will then have to find your app, install it, and finally scan the AR marker. The same is the case with accessing a website URL.
This is a long process and while some users may follow it, others probably won’t. But if you simplify the process, you’d see many of them installing your mobile app or visiting your website to see the encoded content.
And a Quick Response Code (QR Code) can help you do just that.
QR Codes are 2D barcodes that can store alphanumeric information and are easily scannable with a smartphone.
Keep reading to know how QR Codes can help you make augmented reality even better for the end-users.
A. How QR Codes can make augmented reality better
A QR Code helps make it easier for your target audience to download the required app or visit the website to be able to scan the AR marker. We call it an App Store QR Code and a Website URL QR Code respectively.
All that they need to do is—scan the QR Code and download the app/open the website URL. Once they do it, they can readily scan the AR marker. It’s that simple.
In fact, you can incorporate your AR marker into the same QR Code as a logo. This way, the end-users will have to scan the same QR Code to both visit your website or download your app and see the content encoded in the marker.
Benefits of using QR Codes
QR Codes can be customized by adding colors and logo to it. That means besides adding the AR marker as the logo, you can customize the color and pattern of the QR Code’s eyes and data modules as per your wish. It is a fact that custom-designed QR Codes attract 50-200% more scans than plain black-and-white ones.
QR Codes are trackable and can help you monitor their scanning activity. For example, how many people have scanned the QR Code, from where they’ve done it, and when they’ve done it. You can even collect leads via QR Codes. That means you can get valuable insights about your target audience and optimize your future campaigns better.
c. Easily distributable
QR Codes are smaller in size than barcodes and can store much more information. They can be easily scanned with a smartphone and can be readily shared via both print and digital media.
d. High-speed Scannability
QR Codes have a high-speed scannability and come alive within seconds of holding your camera in front of them. This makes the user experience faster and better.
e. Error correction
QR Codes have the feature of error correction. It ensures that even after being damaged, distorted, or dirty, they scan well.
B. Popular use cases of QR Codes in augmented reality
Here are some use cases of QR Codes in augmented reality:
You know that art in itself is very intriguing. But it’s often not possible to let the visitors touch and experience all the artifacts due to their fragility. AR can easily help solve this problem. You can put a QR Code for augmented reality beside each sculpture or painting. When scanned, it can bring up a 3D model of the artifact, helping the onlooker derive an interactive and unique experience.
Education can be fun and QR Codes with AR markers are up for the job. They can especially be helpful in explaining the concepts or diagrams that need visualization for a better understanding. For example, the organ system in biology. You can put up an AR-based QR code beside the text or diagram to help students see a 3D interactive of the same.
Remember reading comics and fantasizing about your favorite characters and superheroes? Let’s admit that we’ve often even imagined meeting them to save the world. If not saving the world, you can use AR to help your readers see their favorite characters come to life in a couple of seconds.
QR Codes with AR markers can help the real estate industry take the buying experience to a whole new level. It can be especially helpful for long-distance buyers who can’t visit the site physically. With the projection of the property over the smartphone, you can engage buyers better.
Travelers often feel confused about directions in new cities. To help them, city admins can use AR at bus stops and metro stations. It will help the travelers to see a 3D model of the city with all the routes and directions. It will be both fun and helpful for tourists and residents alike.
Better customer experience
AR can level up the customer experience via interactives. It helps build up their interest by engaging them in a personalized way. Puma’s Manhattan store has done it already. They used AR-based QR Codes that featured Puma’s mascot on being scanned. It provided customers with directions to the basketball section and allowed them to take selfies with it. They also used it on shoe tags and engaged in a unique AR experience.
C. How to create a QR Code for augmented reality
Now that you know how QR Codes can make augmented reality better, the next question is—how to create one?
1. Find a QR Code generator
To create a QR Code, you will have to find a QR Code generator that allows you to create an App Store QR Code or Website URL QR Code with a logo. Also, to be able to track the scanning activity, you’ll have to find the one that allows you to create dynamic QR Codes.
A simple Google search will give you pages of results. Comparing all the options to find the best one can be a time-consuming and tedious task. Don’t worry. We have compiled a comparison chart of the best QR Code generators. You can go through it to find the best one.
2. Create a QR Code
Using Scanova for a demo, here’s how you can create a QR Codes for augmented reality :
a. Go to Scanova and sign up for a 14-day free trial
b. From the QR Code categories, select the Website URL QR Code or App Store QR Code (depending on where you want the end-users to land)
c. Now paste the website link (for Website URL QR Code) or relevant App Store links (for App Store QR Code)
d. Click Continue. On the page that loads, enter a name for your QR Code and click on Create QR Code
e. Next, you will see details such as QR Code name, type, and category. On the same page, you will see a preview of the QR Code on the right with the Edit Design option
f. Click Edit Design. You will see two design options to choose from—Custom Logo Design and Custom Background Design. Proceed with the Custom Logo Design option
g. Click on the Logo tab. Select the Add Image option to upload the image of the AR marker as the logo. Once you’ve uploaded the logo, you can go to the Eyes and Pattern tab to change the pattern and color of eyes and data modules
h. Once you’re done designing the QR Code, click Done Editing and then click Next
i. Now click Download. You’ll be prompted to specify the size and format of the image to be downloaded. Specify these details and click Export
That’s it. Your QR Code for augmented reality will be downloaded. It is always advisable to test scan the QR Code before putting it out for your target audience.
That is all you need to know about how a QR Code can be used in augmented reality. You can now go ahead and create your very own AR-based QR Codes and make the journey even better for your audience.